Watch Nita Strauss make surprise return appearance with Alice Cooper at Colorado show last night

Nita Straus and Alice Cooper
(Image credit: YouTube)

Guitar maestro Nita Strauss, who left Alice Cooper's band earlier this year to join the backing band for alt-pop megastar Demi Lovato, made a surprise appearance back with The Coop at a show in Colorado last night.

Nita emerged during the band's encore play through of hallmark Alice Cooper anthem School's Out, with Cooper himself introducing her as "Her Majesty, Queen Of The Guitar!" near the end of the song. Strauss was in Colorado following a Demi Lovato show at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver the previous night, and shared the stage with her replacement, Kane Roberts, who returned to the Cooper fold 30 years after his original run with the band.

Strauss later acknowledged the appearance on Twitter, stating that she had "the best time" and thanking Alice Cooper fans "for the warm welcome." She later added: "Such a treat getting to not only see the amazing Alice Cooper show from the audience for the first time, but hop up and join the boys for the encore last night...thank you all for the warm welcome!"

Watch fan-filmed footage of Nita's appearance during School's Out below.

Strauss insisted in an interview with Metal Hammer in August that her departure from Alice Cooper's band was by no means a sign that she'd never return.

"It’s an interesting thing that everyone’s picked up saying it’s a ‘departure’ but I don’t feel, necessarily, that I left," she explained. "I took a step back and I’m stepping back from this upcoming tour but I don’t think anyone has ever used the word quitting or leaving outside of other people. When I had my last few shows with Alice, we had what Alice called a ‘Hiatus Dinner’ where he said ‘We wish you the best, we love you, you’re welcome back’. There’s no shutting of a door and changing of the guard, it’s just I’m taking a step back a little bit. Depending on what the schedule looks like next year, I may have the chance to come back, I may not. But it definitely doesn’t feel as final to me and to the people in Alice’s band and the inner circle as it has been portrayed out in the world.”

On touring with Demi Lovato, she noted that the experience has "definitely been different but good different. It’s good to do different things. Demi’s fans are absolutely rabid. And I mean rabid in the best possible way. It is wild, I put up a video of the first show that we did when I was doing a guitar solo, sort of back to back power stance with Demi, and the screaming and cheering from fans is something I’ve never heard before. I’ve never heard a reaction like that at a rock or metal show. People are like, ‘Yeah, guitar, cool’. That’s what it is. But to hear this audience, possibly a lot of them being exposed to that guitar solo, or seeing it in the context of [the live environment], for the first time, it’s just so exciting and cool. It’s been amazing to step into this world and have Demi’s fans be so wonderful and so supportive. Look, they’re dealing with a change as well, Demi was making pop music and is now playing pop-punk, hard rock, more edgy music. They could have easily turned their backs on her and said, ‘Nope, we only want pop and we’re not gonna follow you down this new path’. I haven’t seen anyone do that. The comments from fans have been wildly supportive."

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.